TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Governor Laura Kelly announced a historical milestone for the state’s economy on Wednesday, boasting that, as of this week, the state’s closed on 131 new economic development projects worth more than $2.5 billion dollars.
“2020 is officially the most successful year for capital investment, since the creation of the existing department of commerce in 1986,” Gov. Kelly said.
The governor also noted that the state’s created and retained more than 13,800 jobs. This comes as states across the country face economic turmoil brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. And Kansas is facing its own economic hurdles with an increased unemployment rate at 5.6% for November, and thousands of Kansans struggling financially.
The governor said that while the coronavirus pandemic has presented many obstacles, the state has also made progress in several areas, including establishing the Office of Broadband Development to help expand broadband access statewide to underserved communities.
“Through the Kansas Department of Commerce’s efforts, we continue to rebuild our economic foundation and create jobs, despite a global pandemic that has devastated economies worldwide,” Gov. Kelly said.
Lt. Governor David Toland, secretary for the state’s department of commerce, also expressed his plans to create an economic strategy for the state, after his appointment was announced during one of the governor’s press conferences.
“Jobs and economic growth have never been more important than now, and building on the tremendous gains of the economic development team at the Department of Commerce will continue to be my focus going forward,” Toland said.
The governor said the state will continue to work with the Kansas Department of Commerce to create more jobs in 2021.